Get up. It is time to get ready.
Ma, 5 minutes, please!
Ma, 5 minutes, please!
I have no idea how many times I would have played out this situation in my life. It all started during my school days, when I had to get up early in the morning. My school started at 7:30 in the morning, and my mother would start her wake-me-up process from 6:00, which would easily go on till 6:30. The struggle would continue relentlessly every morning, shuttling between the room and the kitchen every five minutes. She would coax and cajole, give a stern call at times, and finally, would consider that the best option would be to drag me off the bed. I would react as if my mother had committed a sin by treating me so "violently". I would never help her cause by reacting too slowly in the morning, contrary to the way she pulled herself up every morning, never flinching even once in her daily chores. How could I explain to her the bliss of early morning sleep? The day began by deriding the cold Bangalore weather, which never helped my cause of an early morning wake up. In spite of all that, the next forty five minutes saw a frenzy of activities, with some amazing management skills, that helped me reach school perfectly on time. Not once have I reached late in my primary school, thanks to my mother.
Luckily, the shift system helped me get an afternoon slot for the next five years. I never really had to worry about getting up early till my high school. Not that my high school had early school hours, but the fact was, I had this habit of putting up a show, an act of study at dawn. Just before going to bed, I would let out a statement of utmost sincerity, which was actually devoid of even the smallest quantity of it, Ma, please wake me up at five in the morning. I have to study quite a lot. Exams are fast approaching. I would sleep as if my whole life had been forgotten for the next few hours. My mother would get up, wake me up, wake me up again, and again, and again. But there I used to lie on the bed with absolutely no idea, that somebody is shaking me so violently, and that I had made a commitment a few hours ago about the early morning saga. She would let out a sigh, mutter (well, actually, shout) a few words, and then get back to catch a few winks herself for the next few minutes. After approximately two to three hours, I would wake up, with dread and fear; I had so much to study, but more importantly with a fear of what my mother would say. She would let me know that she is never going to take up the task of waking me up again. If I was responsible enough, I should get up with the help of an old alarm clock. She would make it clear in the next twenty minutes, as I sipped a cup of Boost or Bournvita, with my eyes fixed intently on the sports column of the Deccan Herald. My father, who would be watching this from close quarters, would let out a sigh at my mother's misery and scold her for taking up such an arduous task of waking me up. But my mother would continue the next day on my insistence.
As I grew up and walked through the different phases of my life in college, engineering and work, I depended more and more on my mother for the early morning call. She responded at every stage, egging me on to get up and do what I should for the rest of the day, listening to several five minute requests, and waiting patiently with a cup of hot milk or whatever that could infuse a sense of awakening (no pun intended), and making sure that I was fully awake before she could carry on with her daily chores. I could never get myself to wake up using an alarm clock, as I always knew that my mother would come to me early in the morning. I never could gain that sense of responsibility as long as I was at home. Even as I started work, I knew whom to look up to for a wake up call. My brother who grew up turned out to be the same. I narrate this incident to friends, and they second me by saying that they have been through the same things in life. It is no doubt that with mothers, we take things for granted.
To sum it up nicely, I remember an incident sometime back. My cousin was telling us about his boss. He always sleeps with his laptop by his side. Whenever he gets a message, he hears an alert from Outlook. So, he immediately gets up, responds to the message and continues with his work. My mother just looked at us and told, "You fellows will not get up even if a temple bell is sounded, let alone an Outlook alert"!!! We were laughing the whole day with that statement. But the truth is, that statement never turned out to be a joke.
Today, as I help myself with mobile alarms, snoozing it twenty times in an hour, I realize how difficult it must have been for my mother to do the same things day in and day out without a hint of frustration even once in those many years. As I complete this blog and get some sleep, I realize that I have to get up early tomorrow to finish up some work. How I wish you could see that glint in my eye!